Thursday, April 30, 2009

Infertility and #2

Many of you may know that it took us a while to get pregnant, and ultimately, after tests, medications, IUIs, surgery, and many months of waiting, we finally went through IVF before we got pregnant. When you go through challenges getting pregnant, the doctors brand you with a diagnosis . . . "infertility." I always thought that infertility meant the inability to get pregnant or have children, but it turns out that "infertility" also means "we worked really hard, went through a lot, pumped my body full of all kinds of crazy hormones and waited a long time to get pregnant."

That time was extremely difficult for me . . . I wanted very much to experience the joy of pregnancy and parenthood, but everyday, I lived with the fear that we would never get pregnant. I also remember the jealousy that would strike. It was very difficult to be around pregnant people, paste on that smile, and be happy for them, when all I wanted was to be in their shoes. And trust me, EVERYONE I knew was getting pregnant, having babies, having baby showers. The worst part was how UNGRATEFUL so many of them seemed. It had me FUMING all the time. Nevertheless, I learned how to bottle it up, paste on that smile, and get through things without letting on how hard it was. You know the ad "never let them see you sweat?" Well, I believed I should never let those "fertiles" see my pain. I was dedicated to faking it so well that no one but my closest confidantes knew how hard some of those interactions were for me.

I remember when we were TTC #1, I used to be pretty pissed off at all of these women posting on the SK boards who already had babies who were whining about not getting pregnant with a 2nd or a 3rd child. I really was not sympathetic - I kept thinking, "at least they have one." I know they went through pain each and every month they didn't get pregnant, but part of me would think "well, they can wait their turn." There was always a long list of women on my board that I felt deserved to be pregnant first (me included). I would often be annoyed at the women who came on for #2 and moaned and whined about how it was taking them 2 or 3 months to get pregnant and they didn't have to wait that long for #1. I just did not think it was fair for those women to get pregnant with a second child when there were so many women trying to get pregnant with their first child.

So, here I am, a woman with a child, getting ready sometime in the next year to TTC #2. I still feel that those women who are still TTC #1 are in a different place. When I even mention it on the Board, sometimes I feel terrible - that I'm somehow offending the "long-timers" who are still waiting for #1 by even suggesting that I deserve a #2. I feel a bit guilty to be preparing to go through this process, and a little afraid of airing my whines and rants about not getting pregnant each month, when there are still women out there TTC #1. Sometimes, I feel like one of "them" - those women I used to resent. On some level, I hate being on this other side when so many of my friends are still waiting.

Not surprisingly, I do feel a bit different about the subject now that I am on the other side. I do think infertility is infertility, and it hurts whether it is for #1 or #2. In some ways, going through it all over again when you know what you are about to face is just ridden with all kinds of anxiety. But, at the same time, I still feel that there are a host of first-timers that deserve to get pregnant first. And yet, a part of me hopes to be one of those lucky ones who has it easier the 2nd time around. If that happens, I am sure I will feel guilty that I became one of "them." And secretly, I hope to have the opportunity to join the "them" club. I know that I will certainly try my best to be respectful of those women who are going through this infertility stuff while TTC #1 . . . that fear that it will never happen is just awful, and I don't wish that on anyone. I also really do hope that I am not one of those women who can never have that 2nd child - I hope that infertility doesn't try and steal that joy from me, too.

Eve once posted the question on her blog . . . are you an "us" or a "them." I guess I still feel like an "us" even though having Micah might put me in the "them" category. As I responded to her post that day, I think that once you experience infertility, you are always an "us" - you never quite feel like "them." So, to those of you on SK . . . I hope you can still look at me as an "us" when I do eventually start on this journey for #2. And know that I understand - I remember how unfair it all felt, and I can't say I disagree. If I could give everyone trying for #1 their BFPs before I started out trying for #2, I would.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Stroller Talk

I thought I'd take today to talk about strollers. DH & I had a horrible time trying to figure out the whole stroller situation. There are so many different kinds . . . frames, umbrella strollers, full strollers, lite strollers, jogging strollers . . . it's so confusing! We had no idea how to differentiate. We knew that initially, we wanted a stroller that would work with our carseat. We selected the Graco Snugride carseat, so there were a host of stroller options.

We have a "mom and pop" owned baby store here, and the manager will take you on a tour and go over all the different products. After our initial meeting with him, we were thinking of purchasing the Graco Metrolite stroller - we thought it would give us room to grow, and would be great for use with the infant carseat. He said it would be all we would need, and would give us a good mix of the benefits of both an umbrella stroller and a "full" stroller. We were decidedly against buying a stroller frame (basically, a basket for storage and a metal frame for attaching the car seat) - we thought it was a waste of money since we would only be able to use it for 6-9 months while we were using the infant carseat.

DH and I kept debating about the stroller. After thinking we liked the Metrolite, we started noticing the widespread use in our area of "jogging" strollers as regular strollers. As we talked to more and more people, we realized that the "jogging" stroller would be a good idea for us. We live in an urban area, do a fair amount of walking and go on hikes, so we wanted a versatile stroller that we could use in all these different ways. I was also interested in a stroller that would be easy to steer. The 3 wheeled "jogging" style strollers are excellent for urban living, long walks, and maneuverability. They are often good on different terrains, and the more we looked at them, the more we liked them. We narrowed down our search to the Baby Jogger CityMini and the BOB Revolution stroller. We still weren't sure, however, if we would need a standard stroller in addition to the jogging stroller. DH & I spent months avoiding the decision, and a few short weeks before Micah was born . . . we still did not know what stroller we wanted to get.

Luckily, SIL came to the rescue! She had purchased the Graco stroller frame for her girls, so we decided to borrow that while we decided what stroller we wanted. I have to say, the Graco frame was quite handy - much more useful than I had anticipated. The storage is decent (although I found it difficult to pull things out from the basket while the infant seat is locked in place). It was lightweight and easy to open/close and transport (critical for me). It has a cupholder that has come in quite handy, too. We still use it as the primary stroller that we keep in the car. Many of my new mommy friends have a different variation of the frame - they use the Snap 'N Go frame, and I think it might have a few nicer features. I'm not sure about the weight or ease of use, but it looks nice. My biggest objection to the stroller frame is that it does not steer well. The wheels often get stuck making tighter turns, and it is difficult to maneuver with one hand (a key concern when you are juggling doors, or trying to walk a dog while navigating with a stroller). Nevertheless, it was free for us, and it is a relatively inexpensive "starter" stroller that is good to use while you contemplate how you live with a baby and assess your needs after you have a baby.

After our experience with the frame, we became certain that we wanted a three-wheeled "jogging" stroller for our permanent stroller. We examined hundreds of them out and about and read reviews. Based on the information we gathered, we ruled out many of the less expensive Kolkraft imitation jogging strollers. We had heard excellent things about the Bill and Ted's, but it didn't really seem like a good option to me (still can't tell you exactly why - it is expensive but it doesn't offer anything better or nicer than the other brands unless you have 2 children, and it falls short on some of the features we did like about the brands we selected). DH was a bit intrigued by the Jeep branded "jogging" strollers, but I thought they were cheaply made, and the reviews were mediocre. That left us with two choices - the BOB Revolution and the Baby Jogger City Mini (we ruled out the City Elite because it was too expensive for what it was and bigger than we needed).

Ultimately, everyone who has the BOB Revolution LOVES it. It is a true jogging stroller, however, and well . . . I don't jog. Ever. Unless maybe someone was chasing me. With a knife. Even then . . . not sure I'd be jogging. I might prefer to stay and fight. The BOB is extremely expensive - around $400. The BOB is a bit heavier (important for a jogging stroller) and it is a bit bulky to fold up and put away. It pulls together like an umbrella, only it does not have any kind of a clasp or a hook to keep it closed. Many of our friends said they never closed it because it would just fall over and open up anyway. We also heard that it is complicated to close, large (it does not fit in all cars) and heavy for people like me with no upper body strength. The wheels are real tires (not the hard plastic like other strollers) so you can get punctures and flats. The suspension, however, is much better for runners, and supposedly it provides much nicer cushioning for the baby.

In contrast, the City Mini has a single-handle pull closure. It is so easy to close! It folds up nice and small, and if you are tight on space (as we are), it is fairly compact (for a stroller). It is relatively light weight. The underseat storage . . . sucks. It has a great canopy for covering the baby, and two plastic windows for peeking in on him. The stroller does not come with much - you have to buy the infant cupholder console and the parent console separately. If you want to attach your infant carseat, you have to buy another accessory carseat bar. Like most jogging strollers, the front wheel can lock in place (for rougher terrain) or swivel (great for maneuverability). The stroller can be controlled with just one hand, and it is so light and easy to push. The stroller is not inexpensive, but it is significantly cheaper than the BOB (it lists at $220, but we were able to use a 20% off coupon). The biggest complaint I heard about this stroller is that when you have a child that sits upright, the City Mini does not go fully upright (it stays slanted) and the children will sometimes lean forward rather than utilize the back support, and many parents think this must be uncomfortable for their children. I'll let you know when Micah is sitting up! It is not considered a true jogging stroller - if you intend to actually jog with it on a regular basis . . . well, you are probably better off investing in a BOB.

For us, the City Mini made the most sense. I do wish we had more under-seat storage, but I love having the light and easy stroller. We are just starting to use it with Micah more often - we take it out on neighborhood walks, and I brought it to my Stroller Strides exercise class. We did not purchase the infant carseat bar accessory (DH and I are STILL not in agreement on that) so I have not yet switched to it as my primary stroller because I still prefer to keep Micah in the carseat whenever I can - it is just easier than trying to transfer him all the time.

On another note, we also ended up with an old Metrolite. DH found one on sale at a consignment shop for practically nothing and picked it up about 1 month ago. We kept forgetting to transfer the stroller frame between our cars, and after I was stuck without a stroller a few times, we decided that the secondhand Metrolite would make for a good alternate stroller now (and when we have to dump the frame, it will continue to play the roll of backup stroller in the 2nd car). Because we bought it secondhand, we did not get to select a nice pattern. In fact, I hate the pattern we have. We also do not have one of the newer strollers with all the bells and whistles. I find it a bit bulky. It folds the same way as the frame, but it is more difficult to figure out. It has a clasp to keep the stroller from inadvertently opening, and you can fold down the handlebar so that it is more compact. It is heavier and bulkier to lift, and it can be challenging to maneuver. I love the under-seat storage - it is quite roomy, and it has a release system that allows you to drop the side to reach underneath. It comes with both the parent and infant consoles included, which is nice, and the canopy covers the infant seat well. It fully reclines, and it sits upright. It is compatible with the infant carseat (no need to buy any accessories). Our friends who have the Metrolite love it. I think the XL version is the one they recommend (although I might have that wrong). If you expect to be sticking mostly to malls or paved areas/sidewalks, the Metrolite is probably a great option. It is reasonably priced and about as compact as you can get for a full stroller.

That about summarizes our stroller discussion. There is another class of strollers that is also quite popular around here - we call them the "chi-chi" strollers, and from our perspective, they are a whole lot of money for no real purpose. These strollers include the Bugaboo, the Quinny, and the Stokke. Basically, these are stroller frames that can be placed in different positions as your child grows and they come with 2 or 3 different attachable seats. One size works with the infant carseats. We really did not see the benefit of these strollers, and they start around $800.

Now . . . can someone explain an umbrella stroller to me? I'm not sure yet why anyone needs one in addition to regular strollers, but I may figure that out with time. My friends who have one swear by the Maclaren . . . I don't have an opinion on that yet. I understand why the lack of the consoles and under-seat storage makes it inadequate for some people as the only stroller. Feel free to comment on your favorite strollers!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Micah likes it!

That's right, ladies and gentlemen, on Sunday we fed Micah rice cereal for the very first time! My little boy is growing up and eating solid foods. We started with organic brown rice cereal with DHA. The instructions we had told us to make it very thin, almost like soup, for the very first feeding. So, as instructed, we mixed 1 tbs of cereal with 4 tbs of breast milk. The biggest problem we had was that it kept dripping everywhere. We will gradually make it thicker over time as Micah gets used to eating. We think we managed to use about 1/2 of the mixture . . . probably 1/2 of that dripped on the table or on Micah, but hey, it was a good start! (UGH - I just imagined DH telling a bad joke in my head . . . he would have said "Not Good Start, it was Gerber.")

Naturally, we decided to videotape and photograph this momentous event! Here are the photographs:

If you prefer the live-action version, press the triangle in the lower left corner of the video. I hope you enjoy these shots as much as we do!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Raspberries to you! (It's Just Another Video Sunday)

It appears that Micah's favorite thing to do these days is to blow raspberries. All day long. He blows them until he drools. And he blows drool bubbles. And the drool drips down his shirt (or on the floor, or the playmat). All the while, he is shrieking, kicking and laughing with delight!

I know it doesn't sound like much to you, but raspberries are a milestone. They indicate certain skills in dexterity, and an ability to discover an action and repeat it. Like most babies, I think Micah enjoys both the sound it makes and the feel on his lips. The sensations are exciting right now, and he loves to make raspberries. I love to watch how something so simple brings sheer joy to my little man.

We've hit a few other important milestones in the past few weeks. Micah has found his thumb . . . again, it doesn't seem like much, but while he has previously sucked his hands and fingers, he actually likes his thumb right now. He puts it in his mouth and curls his fingers around his nose.

And a little video for good measure - press the triangle on the lower left corner to see Micah in action:

Unlike sucking on his hand, he finds his thumb quite comforting. It is not a habit I want to encourage (thumbsucking is a much harder habit to break than a paci, in my opinion - the pacifier fairy can come take the pacifier away, but I've never figured out how you get rid of a thumb!) but it is so darn cute right now. Micah has also discovered how to put his own paci in his mouth . . . sometimes. The problem is, he is also the one taking it out and upsetting himself most of the time, and he is much better at taking it out than putting it back again.

I've mentioned this before, but Micah can really play with toys now. He hits buttons, and spins rollers, and turns dials, and he smiles in the mirror and responds to the lights and music. He LOVES his new toys (thanks to his Grandma for this wonderful activity center!), and he is learning to reach further and sit taller everyday. (Don't forget to press the triangle on the lower left corner to watch Micah play).

He is getting close to holding a sit by himself - He can do it for 2 or 3 seconds right now if I position him "just" right . . . but then he flops over. I'll bet he'll be sitting in the next few weeks. As for rolling over - he can easily roll from tummy to back (but sometimes gets stubborn and won't do it). I am also convinced he is able to roll from back to belly, but he hates being on his belly, so he always stops short. At night, he rolls most of the way over to his belly - he likes to sleep with both arms and his chest flat on the bed, but his hips tilted sideways.

And the most important milestone of all . . . Micah can use a real swing! We had some friends come over today, and off to the neighborhood park we went. I had seen a picture on Facebook of a friend from Micah's playgroup in the swing, and I began to wonder if Micah was big enough to use the swing. We plopped him in there . . . and he was smiling, laughing, and enjoying it! He had no problem holding himself upright. It was pretty amazing.

Oh . . . and we sent Micah down the slide for good measure.

With this kind of progress, we might need to send him to college next month! Okay, maybe not, but can you tell I'm a proud mommy?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Another anniversary of sorts

One year ago today, we found out that we were finally expecting a baby. I still remember that moment like it was yesterday . . . I had suspected I was pregnant (perhaps the positive home pregnancy test was a giveaway?) but we were so afraid to believe it was for real this time. I had gone in for a blood pregnancy test, and my beta was delivered to me by my nurse with a phone call. I was standing at the bottom of my stairs, and DH was upstairs. I answered the phone, and I remember her asking me how I was feeling, and all I could think was "I don't know, you tell me." She finally said "How about we call you momma" and I started bawling. I called to DH, and he came to the stairs, and we just sat there, crying and hugging each other. I learned that my beta was pretty darn high, so they thought I had a nice healthy bean growing.

What a roller coaster this last year has been - and wonderful. I can't believe how much has changed in my life, and I'm so thankful for everything that has happened. I'm also amazed that we are even thinking about going through this process all again. The thought terrifies me - getting back on that emotional roller coaster is going to be tough.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

This post is for you, Mom!

My mom called to remind me that she needs her daily blog fix. In an effort to be a good daughter, I rapidly finished up this post I've been working on all week. So, here it is . . . I hope you find it worth the wait!

Another crazy week . . . Micah has been struggling with a stuffy nose all week, and I've been running around like a mad woman and trying to get some work done. As you already know, we started off the week with our 4 month checkup (see my last post).

On Wednesday, we went to our playgroup. Micah thoroughly enjoyed himself - he talked up a storm, smiled at everyone, played with his friend's Hop 'N Pop (a travel activity center), and just had a wonderful time. The pictures don't lie!

I can't believe how big he is getting - and so grown up! He is playing like a "big" boy now. He was spinning the dials, and pushing all the buttons, and having so much fun. We got home in the afternoon, and I got some work done while Micah napped. I had a board meeting that night, so DH was on Daddy duty for bedtime.

On Thursday, I got up early to head to a conference. The plan was to have Micah join me. Needless to say, nothing went as planned. Micah woke up super early (around 5 am) and was HUNGRY. I actually thought that would give us great timing - usually, when he wakes up early, he goes back to sleep for 3 (sometimes 4) hours, which would allow us to get out the door around 9:30 or so. Apparently, Micah had other plans. He would NOT wake up until 10:45. He was sound asleep, and he would not be woken up. I had a work emergency, so I was dealing with that. When Micah finally got up, he was grumpy. I fed him, and finally got him dressed and ready to go . . . and he decided to have a poop explosion (a SUB as we call them). I changed him again, and we headed out the door.

I made it all the way to the convention hall in downtown . . . just in time for the lunch rush. We couldn't find any open garages, and right at that moment, Micah got fussy - he was ready to eat again. Realizing that by the time I found a spot, and fed Micah, and got over to the conference it would be practically over, I threw in the towel on the conference. Instead, I headed a few minutes further north and decided to meet up with my SIL and the girls. We met at Panera for lunch . . . and I promptly discovered I did not have my regular diaper bag with my hooter hider. I had the emergency diaper bag, so I tried to nurse Micah using a receiving blanket as a shield. Micah was more in the mood to play with the blanket and smile at me, but every time I tried to stop nursing him he shrieked. It was a fun experience. Lunch was . . . chaotic . . . to say the least. I was dealing with nursing challenges, and SIL had accidentally forgotten my younger niece's shoes. We spent the whole meal trying to keep her from walking on the ground. With all the craziness, I think we ended up staying at Panera for only 10 or 15 minutes - we couldn't wait to get out of there and try to regain control of the situation.

After lunch, we headed back to their house. The girls were great with Micah. He laughed, he played with them, and we had a pleasant afternoon. His cousins even gave him a few toys to bring home - with lots of lights, buttons and music! He has been having so much fun playing with all of these toys.

My nieces were adorable (as always). Unfortunately, they tend to fight a lot. The older one takes everything away from her younger sister and tries to push her around. On this particular occasion, the younger one wanted to eat some goldfish they were supposed to be "sharing." The older one is very good at "sharing" - as long as she doesn't have to share with her younger sister. She will share with me, with Micah . . . with pretty much anyone else, but not her sister. I didn't exactly see the whole exchange, but the older one took the goldfish, and somehow the younger one ended up biting the older one's finger . . . hard. She meant business . . . the little one dug in and was ferocious and shaking her head with fury while she bit down. She intended to teach the older one a lesson, and was standing up for herself - the poor thing was tired of being pushed around! Tough situation for SIL - the younger one needs to learn not to bite, but she was also trying to stick up for herself because the older one was being a bully. I thought SIL handled the disciplining/comforting very well - I was impressed!

Then, the younger one decided she wanted to pee on the potty. We took off her pants and diaper, and she sat on the little potty. The older one then decided she wanted the potty and tried to shove the little one off. We eventually convinced her to use the real toilet, but not before the two girls had a shoving match on the mini potty. Somewhere along the way, the little one decided to pee on the floor. I think the fact that she is showing interest in the potty is pretty exciting as she is only 18 months old! We headed back upstairs, and it became apparent that the girls were tired. When they went down for their nap, we headed home.

I made it home just in time to meet with another contractor. We are considering putting an addition on the house (crazy, right, since we just renovated the inside). That went well, but Micah had a SUB while the contractor was here, and we had to bathe him and put him to bed while trying to talk costs, look at options, and discuss business. It was a bit chaotic!

My frustration of the week has been that Micah has been waking up hungry early in the morning lately. This morning, he got up at 4:30 again (2nd time this week, and we had one night that he woke up at midnight to eat), so I brought him into bed and fed him. He fell back to sleep right after eating, and he woke up again at 8:30. We got up and dressed, and we decided to try out an exercise class called Stroller Strides. We met our friend there with HER son Micah, and we had a good time. It was a good class - I'm pretty sore! After exercise class, Micah went back to daycare for a few hours - his second "trial" run. I think this visit went better - they did not over-feed him, and he did take a bit of a nap. Unfortunately, we did have another meltdown at bedtime, so perhaps they are connected. I wish I knew what to do! In the meantime, I gave him a bottle of pumped breastmilk, and he guzzled it down before he passed out.

This weekend, we are thinking of trying rice cereal for the first time (since breastmilk alone doesn't seem to be quite enough for Micah these days) . . . it should be interesting (and I promise, there WILL be video). My question is - will he end up with more cereal in his mouth or his hair? I'm a bit scared. I keep seeing him stick his hands in the cereal and putting them straight in that luscious hair of his. I then imagine the cereal getting all hard and sort of . . . shellacking to his hair. We may end up needing to give him a buzz cut before the weekend is over. My mom suggested a shower cap - we may need to experiment!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

4 month checkup

Monday was our 4 month checkup - and Micah did really well! He weighed in at a whopping 12 lbs 15 ounces, and he is 24 1/4 inches long. The doctor thought he was really strong and doing perfectly! He had his vaccinations (2 shots and an oral vaccine). He cried (but not as loudly as last time - this nurse was a bit more gentle administering the shot). I nursed him after the shot, and we came home. He napped on and off all afternoon, and we had one screaming session for about 2 hours, and then he slept from 5 until 9. I nursed him again, and he was happy and smiley again. We finally put him down for the night around 10 or 10:30, and he slept through until 8:00 this morning.

We talked to the doctor about the fact that Micah has been stuffy all week, and he was not concerned. We also discussed Micah's reflux, and he increased the Zantac dosage, so hopefully that will help our little Micah feel better. We also discussed starting solid foods, and he said we can start him on cereal at any time! He suggests if we start early that we go slow - just work on cereal only for a while (at least a month) before introducing any other foods. I think in the next few weeks, we will try cereal. I'd like to work in one cereal feeding a day - I think it will help him get all the calories he needs during the day.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Beltain Brunch

Friends of ours host a black-tie brunch every year that they call the Beltain Brunch. This past Sunday was the day! DH and I got ourselves all decked out (okay, we didn't *quite* do the full black-tie) and we had an adorable outfit with a black bowtie for Micah, courtesy of hand-me-downs from our friends. We thought we'd share these photos, too!

I have a problem

Okay, I admit it - I can't go to a baby store and come out empty-handed. On Saturday, I decided to go to the baby store to purchase a few needed items. I went in intending to buy an activity center, a teething ring, a toy with buttons, and *possibly* some kind of a toy for the car seat.

What I bought was this:
  • Exersaucer (Evenflo fold and travel)
  • Little tikes 5-in-1 adjustable gym
  • snap on musical mobile for the car seat
  • a standing mirror toy for the stroller
  • a bathing suit with a matching hat
  • a 2nd bathing suit with a matching shirt (he'll need more than 1, right?)
  • a third bathing suit with a matching hat (he is growing, you know!)
  • a pair of sunglasses
  • a pair of swim shoes (they look like crocs)
  • a set of spoons (we might be starting food soon!)
  • a travel case and a set of travel spoons
  • a bowl for rice cereal
  • a teething ring
  • a 2nd teething ring (they were so cute, I couldn't decide between them . . . besides, shouldn't there always be a spare one in the freezer?)
  • a pair of robeez shoes
  • a 2nd pair of robeez shoes . . . too darn cute!
I think that completes my confession. We may have to return the robeez and a bathing suit . . . but I think I sold DH on all the other items!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

4 month photos

On Friday, we returned to the picture people for Micah's 4 month photos. The photographer asked if he could enter picture #1 in a contest and post it at the store:

Saturday, April 18, 2009

You know you have become a mom when . . . .

I've started to notice that I've become a total "mom" - doing all those things I swore I would never do. In honor of that fact, I thought I'd write this post - please feel free to add your own!

You know you have become a mom when . . . .
  • you see a booger up your child's nose, and don't think twice about picking it.
  • your child sneezes and you use your hands . . . or shirt . . . or anything else you can easily grab to start wiping all the mucous away.
  • you see schmutz on your child's face, and you automatically lick your finger to wipe it off (please note - I ALWAYS wash my hands in between wiping away the snot and licking my finger to wipe away the schmutz).
  • you think it is acceptable to pick up your child to sniff his/her tush to determine if the diaper has poop in it.
  • you can just pick up your child and know he/she needs a diaper change because of the increased weight.
  • you feel the need to talk to your child about the stinkiness of the poop in his/her diaper . . . even though your child does not yet understand you.
  • you don't really care whether you have recently showered . . . or put on makeup . . . or put on an outfit that isn't elastic and loose.
  • you have to choose between showering and eating.
  • you are proud of yourself for only accomplishing one thing all day.
  • you spend most of your days discussing poop . . . and possibly breastfeeding, pumping, or bottles.
  • you know exactly how many outfits your child has worn (and pooped through) in a given day.
  • you rate your day based upon the number of poop explosions you have had to face.
  • people ask how you are doing and you launch into a monologue about how your little one is growing/developing/sleeping/eating/pooping.
  • you start to consider getting rid of furniture to make room for toys.
  • you go to the store to pick up one toy . . . and spend an obscene amount of money and come home loaded with cool stuff (remind me to post a picture of my haul from today's shopping trip!)
  • you spend 3 hours trying to go to the bathroom . . . or take your medicine. . . . or eat breakfast . . . and realize you still haven't succeeded.
  • you get excited about a night of . . . . fun . . . with your husband, and can't believe the baby throws a wrench in your plans by waking up, screaming, and needing to come into bed with you.
  • your DH reaches to fondle your breasts, and all you can think is "uh-oh, I they don't start spraying milk now!"
  • after feeding, you spend a lot of time coaxing your child into burping, and then cheer and say "good, boy" (or "good, girl") after the offensive sound has been successfully elicited.
  • your child releases an impressive demonstration of flatulence, and you turn and say "feeling better, sweetie?"
Okay - that is all I've got right now . . . I'm sure there will be more another day. Please, post a few of yours!

Could it be teething?

My little guy is out of sorts - has been for over one week now. He had those bad weeks when we got back from California, and now this. I could be wrong, but perhaps he is teething? It could just be the reflux, I suppose, but he hasn't been feeling 100%. He has had a pretty drippy nose, but I don't think it is a cold (it is just clear). It could be allergies. He has been wanting to gnaw on everything, though, and he has been pretty drooly, too. He seems to be in pain/discomfort, especially at night, and tylenol seems to help. His tummy has been bothering him on and off - so who knows! I'm going to ask the doctor again on Monday when we go in for his 4 month checkup. Poor guy - I hope he starts feeling better soon! I don't know what I'm going to do if he actually pops a tooth through!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Menopause and Infertility

Last night, DH & I went to see Menopause, the Musical. I was hysterically laughing . . . along with all the menopausal women in the audience. I think, however, I realized I was laughing for a very different reason than the rest of these women. You see, I realized tonight that infertility is excellent practice for menopause!

We IF sisters have dealt with hot flashes, and understand the concept. We know what it is like to be pumped full of hormones and have your body doing all kinds of stuff. We know what hormonally crazy feels like. We know about hormonal irritation, and the lack of desire to have sex that all the hormones can create (and the flipside . . . the hormonal hornies, too).

In a way, it made me hopeful - if I could survive infertility, menopause should be a piece of cake! To all my IF sisters out there . . . just think how much we'll be smiling and laughing at our friends when we all hit menopause, and they don't know how to handle a hotflash, or they go off the deep end over the hormonal crazies. By then, we'll be experienced, and it will be a walk in the park for us.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Another story I shouldn't share . . .

Since I seem to be on a roll sharing embarrassing stories, I have one more in my arsenal I might as well divulge (and I do not think I've shared this one online yet). A few weeks back, I was home alone with Micah and my dog. I finished nursing Micah, and placed him on his tummy on his playmat. I went to the kitchen, and all of the sudden, I was hit with horrible stomach cramping. I've been having issues with this ever since I got pregnant, but something about nursing (probably the oxytocin) gives me all kinds of stomach issues. The bathroom is located right next to the kitchen, so I ran in there, thinking I'd just be a minute or so. I left the door open so I could listen to Micah and talk to him.

Needless to say, the minute I entered the bathroom, Micah started to cry and fuss. I was talking to him from across the hallway, and singing to him in an attempt to calm him. No such luck . . . his fussing escalated to flat out crying. I was doing my best to settle my stomach so I could get back to him ASAP, but I was afraid of leaving the bathroom at that exact moment. Suddenly, Micah became very quiet. Naturally, like every good mother, I panicked that something horrible had happened because I failed to answer his cries with sufficient speed. All told, I was probably only in the bathroom 2-3 minutes. When he got quiet, I raced out of the bathroom (thank goodness all the windows were closed or I would have been humiliated beyond belief) and ran to make sure my baby was okay.

To my shock and amazement . . . . I found Micah on his back (he'd rolled over) with my dog on the playmat next to him, gently nuzzling his face and body while he cooed at her. My wonderful dog decided she would take care of him! Like every good mother would do . . . I went back to the bathroom since my dog had it all under control.

Drivin' & Pumpin'

Yes, it is true . . . you can pump and drive. I know I should not admit that I have done this, but on Monday I felt as if I had no choice. I had a crazy day on Monday - running around in the morning and dropping Micah off at daycare for the first time, followed by my meeting downtown. I knew Micah's next bottle was due sometime during my meeting, so I could not pump at that time (don't you think pumping in a meeting would have been worse?). I also knew that by the time I got home, Micah would want to eat again within a short period of time. I was afraid of waiting too long after he had last eaten to pump because it could inadvertently take away some of his needed food. So, when I left my meeting around 4:20, I knew I was easily 45 minutes from home. I called DH, and he was picking up Micah, and told me Micah had last eaten at 3:40. I thought it through for a few minutes, and decided that I needed to pump, immediately.

I could have just pumped in the car before driving home - that probably would have made the most sense. However, I was parked out on the street, so it wasn't exactly a private location (yeah . . . and driving on the roads is MUCH more private). However, my meter was almost up, and the street parking rules on that block did not allow for parking after 4:30 pm, so I was concerned that a police officer would give me a hard time. I discretely put on my pumping bra, hooked up the pump, and put it on its battery-powered setting. I was smart in how I had dressed - I had on a blazer, so my sides were well covered, and I had on a sleeveless shirt underneath that I was able to pull down over the pumping attachments. So, nothing was showing and I was hands-free. After considering my options another moment . . . I put the car into gear, and hit the road. The first 15 minutes of the trip, I was all hooked up and pumping. At one of the lights, I turned off the pump after my time was up. It was pretty uncomfortable to be hooked up, and I was paranoid that people would look at the car window and wonder about the strange shapes causing my shirt to protrude. I also became panicked that the cups would fall off and all that precious milk would spill in the car. So, at each of the lights, I slowly worked at unhooking the pump, combining the bottles, and capping the milk. I was quite impressed with my abilities!

So . . . note to self . . . it is definitely safe to pump and drive.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Finally . . . our tile!

We made this tile at a pottery place as part of our traveling activities class. I know I'm not artistic, but doesn't Micah have the cutest feet?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

TTC Talk

DH had his semen analysis done again the same day we went back to check on Frank. We got the results back, and it still isn't great, but it was better than we expected. We might actually have a shot with IUI this time! His volume was high, but the viscosity was still severe. The concentration was 53 million/ml, and motility was only 29%. His morphology had fallen from 11% down to 7% (so that is a concern), but there were 61 million total motile sperm pre-wash! I think that is the highest number we ever had. A very low percentage of DH's boys survive wash, though. His forward progression was a 2 (it should be 2+ or higher) but that is much better than the 1 and 1+ we were seeing last time around.

DH will start back on his vitamins in a few months, and we'll see where we go from there. All-in-all - not likely to get "accidentally" pregnant, but we may just get lucky with IUI and not need IVF again.

Blossoming Weekend

After the seders last week, we were expecting some family time on Friday. DH's parents, brother, SIL, and their two children joined us Friday for breakfast. I made matzah brie, which is basically french toast made with matzah. You soak the matzah to soften it, mix some eggs through, then fry it up. You can serve it "savory" (with salt and/or cheese) or go the sweet route (cinnamon, sugar, syrup, chocolate . . . whatever floats your boat). I made a big giant vat of matzah brie, we put all the different toppings on the table, and we had a lovely breakfast. We were expecting DH's other brother, SIL and their son to join us on Friday. They called to say they would be here in an hour, so we waited. And waited. And waited. 1 1/2 hours later, they called to say they wouldn't be joining us. We still don't understand exactly what happened.

Once we got the green light, we stopped waiting, and took off to tour the area. It is a beautiful time of year here, with all the trees in bloom, so off to one of the oldest/prettiest neighborhoods we went to wander around and enjoy nature.

We then decided to take DH's mother shopping for a new pair of shoes, so off to a discount shoe store we went. We all managed to buy a few pairs of shoes. When we came back, we enjoyed a late lunch of egg salad and matzah pizza while we waited. We relaxed and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon, and around 6, my friend from college arrived to join us! (Long story short . . . I didn't realize my in-laws planned to stay through until Saturday, so I invited a college friend down to visit). We had a lovely dinner together - just leftovers from the previous night.

Saturday morning, my in-laws returned for lunch before their drive back home. I made tuna salad, we cooked up a few more matzah pizzas, and a "secret" family recipe that we call matzkes (it is basically a special sweet cheese mixture that you spread on the matzah and bake). My family matzkes were a hit! The family departed for home, and my friend and I decided to go back to the same old neighborhood I had taken my family to see the day before. We spent a quiet evening at home, and DH made fish and veggies for dinner (not that I ate the fish - I'm a vegetarian). Sunday, my friend and I decided to adventure a bit - we took the train downtown, checked out the blossoming trees, and then went to a museum. We had a wonderful day, and Micah enjoyed his first trip downtown and first museum visit. We returned home around 5, and my friend decided to head back home.

All in all, a wonderful weekend!

Monday, April 13, 2009

I cried my eyes out

Today was Micah's first day at child care, and I cried my eyes out! He is now officially a Little Star (I had it wrong before . . . I thought he was going into the Lambs classroom). I always knew he was a superstar!

Our day was crazy (as usual). We went to our playgroup this morning, and we brought a kosher for Passover birthday cake we baked for one of the other moms. Nothing fancy, but it wasn't bad for a Passover cake.
Micah had a great time at playgroup! He played on the playmat, and his friend Juliet couldn't stop running her fingers through his hair (okay, more like grabbing a chunk, but at that age, same thing!!) They were even holding hands for a while. I think some of the other women took some photos - I will try and update those later.

We stayed a little too long at playgroup, and I needed to race out of there and get gas for DH's car. We finally made it to the daycare center at 2:00 - about 1/2 hour later than I'd planned. I brought him back to the room, and left him there. As I walked out . . . I started to bawl. I was just so sad to leave him. I was worried he would be afraid with all the strangers, and I didn't want him to be sad or lonely. I kept thinking they wouldn't talk to him enough and that he would not get enough stimulation. Crazy, right? It also worries me that many of them speak with an accent, and I worry that hearing poor English will affect his language development. I went to the office and filled out all the paperwork, and then I snuck back and checked on him. He was sitting in a bouncy seat, playing with a blue stuffed elephant. He wasn't smiling and chatting like he does at home, but he looked like he was fine, so I ran out of there in a mad race to get to my meeting on time!

My meeting went well - I won't bore you with the details, but it looks like I have a chance at another contract. After my meeting, I checked in with DH, and he was about to pick Micah up from daycare. I raced home and waited for them. When DH walked through the door with Micah, he was clearly happy to see me. He couldn't stop beaming and laughing, and he was just so happy to be with me. I can assure you, the feeling was mutual!

Micah did just fine . . . he enjoyed playing with the blue stuffed elephant while he sat in a bouncy seat, and he took his bottle. They said he was happy and easy the whole time - he even got a wonderful report card to prove it!

All in all, he did really well, but I was a bit frustrated with his caretaker, Aneta. When we arrived, Micah was asleep. We decided to place his car seat in the crib so we did not wake him up (I told her he desperately needed to nap for an hour or two). So, after we placed him in the crib . . . she woke him up to put in his paci "so he would sleep better." HELLO - how does WAKING A BABY UP help them sleep better? I did my best to bite my frustration back, and I went to the front office. I came back to check on Micah before I left, and he was quietly playing. DH picked him up at 4:30, and he was napping - but he had JUST fallen asleep. According to Aneta, Micah took 5 ounces. I told her he probably shouldn't need more than 4 - I have a feeling she force-fed him the last ounce instead of taking the bottle away when he was just comfort-sucking. I'll have to have a discussion with her about not over-feeding him. Needless to say, his belly hurt a bit when we brought him home, and he had a meltdown around 7:30 because he had not gotten enough sleep during the day. We'll have to work that out.

I had to run out after nursing Micah to attend a viewing - the father of our family friend died last week. I made it back a little after 8, and Micah was still in melt-down mode. DH managed to get him to sleep for a few minutes, but I needed to nurse him again before he finally drifted off. I guess my little guy just needed a bit more mommy time. He was SOOO over-tired today.

Update. . . . 1:02 am. It has been a rough night. Micah was hysterical at bed time, then woke up again at 8:45 and needed to nurse. He went back to sleep, but DH and I have needed to run upstairs MANY times to reinsert the paci. I was getting ready to pump when the fussing started again. I reinserted the paci, but he didn't seem satisfied, so I picked him up and decided to nurse him again. While I was nursing him, he was making this horrible rattling noise - he was extremely congested. We used that blue nasal squeegey to clear things out (he did NOT like that) and I finished nursing him. He is currently asleep, on his side, but it is a very restless sleep. I think we're in for a long night and an early morning! Maybe daycare really did throw him off more than we thought.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Childcare Update

We are still working on figuring out a nanny solution (either a part-time nanny just for us, or a nanny-share situation with friends of ours), but in the interim, we decided to take the spot that opened up at the daycare. They offered us Mondays and Fridays (lousy days) but we decided to take just Mondays. Until May 20, they have openings everyday, so we can take advantage of drop-off days in addition to Mondays. We are going to test this out and see how it goes. If the nanny thing falls through, it gets us in the door at the daycare, and we should be able to work out better days by the Fall. We went back to visit the facility this past Wednesday to see the classroom and meet his primary caretaker (he will be a Little Lamb). I was crying while we were there . . . I know I need to get help so I can get my work done . . . but the thought of someone else caring for my little guy breaks my heart. He is thriving, and I'm so proud of the fact that we did that, and I don't think anyone can make him grow and thrive the way we can. But I do realize that I can't do it all myself. I keep thinking I'll feel more comfortable with daycare when he is older - I can kind of consider it early preschool at that point. I guess we'll try this out, and it will give me a chance to see how I'm feeling and if this will work for us. We can add more days if necessary, or cancel our spot and switch to a nanny. I really do believe that this facility will be wonderful for Micah as he gets older, but I wish I was ready for him to be in daycare right now. Keep your fingers crossed that we can find a nanny situation!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Can I have my ear back?

It is Passover . . . a lovely holiday that has those of us who are observing eating cardboard for 8 days. Okay, not exactly. Passover commemorates our freedom from slavery in Egypt . . . the story of Moses (queue The Ten Commandments). We have seders, a special ceremonial dinner, the first two nights of Passover, to retell the story of Passover and celebrate our current lives of freedom. We then continue to eat matzah and do not eat any bread/grains for 8 days to remind us that our ancestors fled Egypt in such a hurry that they did not have sufficient time to let their bread rise.

The first night, my parents hosted seder at their house. My brother and SIL and my two nieces all came down, and it was a good event. We grew up with a family who lives around the corner from my parents. My brother and their oldest daughter were best friends, and we always refer to them as our brother and sister. They were back in town this week for Passover, so as is our tradition, they came over to spend time at my parents' house before the seders began. My oldest niece was a bit unsure of the son . . . which is amazing, because he is so sweet and gentle that EVERYONE loves him! Early on during their visit, he "took" her nose and her ear. She mostly avoided him the rest of the visit, and cautiously watched him from afar. Just as he was getting ready to leave, she said "Excuse me, can I have my ear back?" He laughed for a second and then got very serious. He carefully took her ear out and put it back for her. He asked if that was okay, and she responded with "and my nose." He promptly returned her nose, she flashed him a smile, and walked away. Aren't 2 1/2 year olds wonderful?

During their visit, my younger niece was still napping. We decided that we would head over to their house to visit (and show off the babies to their Grandma) once she woke up. At 5:00, we headed over there for a visit. It was so much fun to introduce the next generation of our family to their Grandma. We had a nice visit before returning for our seder. When we were growing up, our families always did a seder together, so this holiday is filled with so many collective memories for us.

While we were at my parents' house, my SIL brought Micah downstairs, and my nieces took out their buckets of toys, and were sharing them with Micah. It turns out, Micah is ready for toys! My nieces showed him how to push a few buttons on some of the toys in the box, and he was using his hands to push buttons and make music play. I couldn't believe he was able to do that!

We hosted the second seder at our house. DH's parents, one brother and SIL, and two of their chidlren joined us, along with my parents. We had a lovely dinner, and Micah got to spend time with his grandparents and cousins. It was a very pleasant evening, and the food was wonderful (if I do say so myself). DH made turkey and meatloaf and chicken soup, my mom made brisket and kosher for passover mandel bread (Jewish biscotti) and I made the side dishes and dessert (matzah balls for the soup, matzah farfel, which is the Passover version of stuffing, asparagus, a spinach souffle, a broccoli souffle, kosher for passover brownies and cake - it is amazing how ground up matzah and eggs can actually taste pretty good!). I decorated the cake for my in-laws birthdays. We did have one disaster - the apple charlotte . . . basically, it is made from apples, raisins, crumbled matzah, and eggs, and it is kind of like an apple crisp. It is one of my favorite dishes. It came out perfectly, and I had it cooling on the range. DH wasn't paying attention, and when he turned the burner on to heat up the soup, he turned on the wrong burner . . . and kind of set fire to the apple charlotte. He was still hoping to save it and just cut out the burnt parts (yeah, right). My dad, in an effort to help, tried to move the dish from the range top to the granite countertop to get it out of the way while we were cooking. It was so hot that the minute it touched the cold granite, the glass pyrex dish EXPLODED!! Needless to say, we had to throw it away.

I'm now sitting in bed, my niece and nephew asleep downstairs, DH watching tv, and I'm typing this and watching Micah on the monitor. I received an email from a friend of mine who is expecting a baby soon saying she got the same monitor and has been playing around with it. They are looking forward to plugging it in to their tv in their bedroom at night. It is funny, because we were going to set it up and plug it in for everyone to watch tonight . . . and then we got distracted. In fact, I don't think we've ever plugged it in to the tv yet. I think we are going to try and plug it in soon and see if we can record some footage of Micah in bed - I'll try and post it when we do that. He is currently sleeping across the width of the crib (or at 90 degrees, as we like to say). He keeps almost rolling over in bed, but he does not fully make it over to his tummy - mostly because he keeps trying to roll "uphill" since he is sleeping the wrong way in his crib. He loves to get so close to the bumpers when he sleeps - I should be more worried about how close his face gets to the material, but I guess I feel like I survived on my tummy and with blankets in the crib, he should be just fine.

In the morning, my other BIL and SIL are driving down, and the whole family will get together. It is a good thing we have a ton of leftovers! I have a friend coming tomorrow night, so it should be a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I think I used to be fun

As the title of this post says, I think I used to be a lot of fun. I really don't sleep, so I was always willing to spontaneously run out and go wherever, any hour of the day or night. Bored and want to play pool? Call Tess, she'll come meet you! Interested in staying out all night and dancing? Call Tess, she'll come along! Need to just chat on the phone about work/boyfriend/date/crazy night . . . call Tess, she'll pick up any time! Want to go for a walk at 3:30 because the weather is nice . . . call Tess, she never makes plans in advance and will almost always drop everything to get out of the house and procrastinate. Looking for company to get a massage or a manicure? You get the picture. Interested in going shopping . . . okay, that was never my bailiwick. For that, you should probably call my father.

I used to travel a lot - all over the world. I've been to over 35 states and more than 14 countries. I always had a trip planned or in the works. For our honeymoon, we went to Africa. I've been all over Europe, on cruises, and all around the Caribbean. I am a foodie, and I have eaten in some of the best restaurants around the country. I love going to the movies, seeing shows, going up to New York to catch Broadway shows, and attending concerts.

All of this is to say that I do not think I am fun or interesting anymore. Getting out is a challenge, I have no idea the next time I will be going on a non-work vacation, and the only thing I think when the phone rings after 8:00 pm is "I hope that doesn't wake Micah." When I hear about parties, I think it sounds like too much trouble. When I get a call to go on a walk, I think "do I have enough time to go before I have to feed Micah?"

I really miss being fun sometimes. I wouldn't trade a second of my time with Micah, but it does make me wonder if I will ever be fun again.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

You've got the cutest little baby face

Today, we will be presenting a photo essay. Micah in pictures. Here are a few of my favorite things:

Hanging out in my loungewear . . . like the slippers?

And the mullet shots (okay, it is part faux hawk). . .

business in the front. . . .

party in the back . . .

Look at that luscious hair!

Can you see my curls?

And let's finish this off with an installment of Micah tv. Press the triangle on the lower left of each picture to watch the videos! Enjoy Micah chatting and playing:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Micah in Wonderland

The good news is, things have improved on the sleep front with Micah. We discovered that Micah has just been hungry at bedtime, so we've been giving him some extra milk before bed, and bedtime has become a joy again. We're not sure if my milk supply is low or if Micah is growing and just needs a little more right now, but things seem to be under control for now.

I have to say, Micah amazes me when he sleeps. He can be an incredibly restless sleeper some nights - kicking all over the place, making noises, plunging his hands into that gorgeous head of hair (who wouldn't want to do that?) and trying to shove his fists into his mouth. Other nights, he barely moves or makes a sound. When he was younger, we had him sleeping on an incline secure sleeper - it is made of foam, it kept his head elevated to minimize the acid reflux, and it had pillows for his arms to keep him from sliding down. The only problem was, he kept sliding down, so all night long, we'd have to go in and slide him back up. He would either wake up from sliding down, or he would be irritated when we lifted him back up, prompting a round of kicks and punches that would, of course, cause him to slide back down again. As he grew larger and we stopped swaddling him, we decided to remove the incline sleeper and buy a crib wedge - basically, a triangular-shaped wedge that lays on top of his mattress to keep his head a bit elevated to reduce problems with acid reflux.

This new sleeping situation has been a major improvement! We do not need to run in and out of his room all night lifting him up and waiting for him to slide down. For the first few weeks, it was ideal. As Micah has grown stronger, however, he is moving around the crib a bit more. The past few nights, he seems to like to turn 90 degrees and lay across his crib. I'm fairly certain the crib wedge does not help reflux when the baby refuses to lay on it. The past several mornings, he wakes up crying when he has turned 180 degrees . . . yes, that is right, he uses the crib wedge to put his feet up. I'm fairly certain dangling the head downwards is NOT good for reflux. In general, we have been leaving Micah to move about the crib as he pleases, as long as he seems comfortable and sleeps. He has been sleeping so soundly that we have not needed to go in to reinsert the paci at all the past few nights.

Tonight, we went upstairs, put him in his pajamas, gave him his medicine, and I nursed him while DH read him a goodnight story. I thought Micah was finished eating - I seemed to be out of milk, and he seemed contented with his paci. He was smiling at me, so I decided to read him another story while we rocked together. Suddenly, he started to get fussy and restless again, so I tried nursing him some more. Just in case, I had another 2 ounces of milk in a bottle on hand. He was quite insistent on what he wanted - he would have none of the right side, and was all about the left side. I got him into position, and away he nursed. I did not think he would get enough, but after a few minutes, his eyes began to close and he sort of relaxed. I made the decision to nurse him to sleep rather than try moving him or separating him before he decided to pull off. Maybe he just needed some bonding with mommy tonight. It took another 5-10 minutes, but Micah passed out and flopped off. I popped in his paci, and moved him into the crib.

After DH and I did some cooking in preparation for our upcoming Passover seder on Thursday night, I checked Micah on the monitor because he was so quiet. Once again, he had turned 90 degrees and was sleeping across the crib. I give up! He is very cute . . . I guess eventually he'll outgrow this position. I may need to give up on the crib wedge, too, although I think it at least keeps him from spitting up for the first few hours he is in the crib after eating.

Micah does such a great job sleeping and napping - I'm so lucky that he is such a good baby. I have been terrible, however, about making him nap in his crib. I have a feeling I am going to regret that one of these days. He really does not like to nap in his crib - most days, he isn't even too thrilled with the pack n play. He does most of his naps either in the swing, his car seat, or the stroller. Does anyone have tips about napping locations?

We also bought a new stroller tonight. We had been using just the Graco stroller frame - you just snap the car seat in and go. It is easy to use, and really has been perfect for us. DH picked up a metrolite stroller as a backup stroller at a consignment shop about a month ago. The pattern is ugly and it is a bit bulky, but it has been good to have an extra stroller in my car or at the house sometimes. Since we will not be able to use the stroller frame once Micah outgrows his car seat (we still have a few more months on that front), we've been hunting for our "permanent" stroller. We decided to buy the BabyJogger CityMini stroller. We think it will be great for walking around here (we live in an urban area), it is easy to fold and store, and it is so easy to maneuver. I'm already excited about it, and we have not even used it yet! We may still need to get just a regular old umbrella stroller at some point, but we'll worry about that when the time comes.

A day in the life on Facebook

Tkeys is watching DH chase a wet dog around the house with a very little towel. Nugget 1, DH 0. Ah yes, and then Nugget decides to towel dry herself on Micah's playmat. Lovely!

DH at 1:34am April 3
I didn't chase - I let her come to me, which she did (or at least tried to run past me like the maniac she becomes when wet) and caught her in this towel, where I dried her off. She took to the playmat before I could get the towel. I would at least say the score is tied, if not me in the lead ;-)

Tkeys at 2:01am April 3
You chased . . . and she was faster. You only "caught" her when she climbed on the couch to relax after her wild run through the house tracking muddy wet paw prints on the newly washed floor!

DH at 2:06am April 3
Keep telling yourself that!

Tkeys at 2:12am April 3
I know what I saw . . . and anyone who knows Nugget will know the truth.

Stu at 6:22am April 3
I hope you guys are sitting next to each other typing this...

Tkeys at 9:31pm April 3
Of course we were!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Video Sunday

I've decided to declare today Video Sunday. To celebrate this momentous occasion, I will post way too much Micah video! Our little guy is chatting (okay, the rest of you would call it babbling) and laughing now, and he can sit on his own in the Bumbo seat! As a reminder, click on the triangle on the bottom left corner of the images to make the video play.

Micah playing at the Denver Airport:

Micah laughing at home:

Micah playing on the playmat:

Playing in the Bumbo seat:

Friday, April 3, 2009

Let's talk about Frank, baby

Today was my fluid ultrasound to check on the status of Frank (you know, the pesky fibroid). The good news is, Frank shrank back down to only 1.5 cm. He is only on the outside of my uterus, outer layer. My doctor felt that there was no reason to go in and surgically remove him. I have to say, I was stunned - things never go that well for me. I asked about whether Frank would re-grow during a future pregnancy and cause me problems, and while he said the possibility exists, he felt that Frank was done growing. The even better news is that the other fibroids I used to have on the outside of my uterus (there were 5) have all disappeared. He could not find any evidence of any additional fibroids! So, hopefully that means any future pregnancies would not be riddled with contractions and pain. Then again, Frank could defy expectations and get cranky again next pregnancy. I guess the upside to that is I would have extra monitoring, probably earlier on, to watch frank throughout the pregnancy. While we were there, he checked out my ovaries - normal sizes, no sign of cysts, and 22 follicles or so in the "starter" phase. Not growing (or close to ovulation) and not post-ovulatory, so I am currently inactive (probably from breastfeeding).

I do have a band of scar tissue from Micah's birth that he recommended I have removed. I've been having some issues with the scar tissue . . . it makes sex a bit challenging and uncomfortable right now. I have a feeling it would not be so inclined to stretch to push out baby #2. He said "there is no reason to put up with that." So . . . we'll see. I have to make an appointment with a different doctor to discuss it. I know I should do it, but it involves a needle, and well, you know how NOT good I am with needles.

Results of the day: there are no impediments to trying again for #2 when we are ready!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Poll results . . . and more about us

Well, after my mother shamed me for failing to post an update since MONDAY, I am doing my best to come up with something interesting to post. DH & I are sitting here, watching the end of an era on tv (the last episode of ER) while we listen to the beginning of a new era on the video monitor (Micah). Tonight, our tv is accompanied by the enjoyable sounds of The Beatles - the lullaby version. We have been playing music for Micah while he sleeps, and the sounds echo throughout the house over the monitor.

So, let me begin with the results of the poll from my last thread . . . overwhelmingly, most of you voted to cut his hair! We are still ambivalent. It is Jewish tradition to wait at least 1 year to cut a baby's hair. Some even wait 3 years before a first hair cut. Can you imagine if we waited 3 years? Micah's hair would probably be down to his cute little tush! We keep hoping his hair starts to curl up. If it was curly, we could definitely wait longer.

I have a hair appointment set up for me in 2 weeks. I have known my hairdresser since I was 7 or 8 years old. Back then, she was training to cut hair, and she was the hair washer at the place where I got my haircut. She washed my hair for years, then eventually started cutting it. I won't let anyone else touch my hair. The 2 times I did, it was a disaster. I'm hoping she'll offer to give Micah his first haircut - I think she'd love to have that honor. So, we'll see if we cut his hair in 2 weeks, or if I postpone it.

Micah is doing really well. I think *fingers crossed* we are back on schedule with him. I believe we identified the source of the bedtime screaming issues - HUNGER. He must have been going through a growth spurt, and with all the traveling, I think I must have missed the milk supply increase, so we are a bit behind the eight ball, so to speak. The past few nights, we've been increasing his food intake by giving him a bottle supplement of pumped breast milk before bed. This eliminated the screaming and bed time became easier. Yesterday, however, was a really rough day. I seemed to "run out" of milk mid-day. We had to give a bunch of bottle supplements, and I was worried about my supply. Luckily, the bottle supplements did the trick, and bedtime went smoothly. Today, I spent the day feeding him on schedule and pumping after each feeding session to try and increase my supply. It seems to have worked, and Micah was ready for bed by 8:00, happy as usual. I nursed him then topped him off with a bottle, and placed him in his crib. We had a few runs upstairs to pop in his paci to calm his fussing, and then off he drifted to sleep.

Since I am on the subject of Micah sleeping, I will say he is pretty amazing. He moves ALL around the crib while he sleeps. About ten minutes ago, he had managed to turn 90 degrees . . . and now he is back to his vertical position. I am also amazed at how restless he gets. As DH says, he is more mobile asleep than awake. Sometimes he gets quite vocal and noisy, and I think he is awake. When I go running in to check on him, I realize he is sound asleep and desperately trying to gnaw his fist off. It is a good thing he doesn't have any teeth yet. Some babies find their hands/fists comforting, but I have noticed that while Micah will suck on his hands, he never seems to be soothed by that. I carefully remove his fist and replace it with a paci, and it is magic! Micah instantly stops moving and fussing and sort of melts into a still, deep sleep. Who knew a pacifier could be such a wonderful thing!

In other news, we've been dealing with ants in the kitchen and our master bathroom. I HATE ants! We called an exterminator (the guy who grew up across the street from me is an exterminator, so that was an easy call to make!) and he came today. Apparently, we have a special kind of ant (fragrant ants?) and they are living under the front porch. Ironically, my parents have the same ants at their house . . . coincidence? YOU decide! He sprayed all over outside, and so far, the ants seem to be gone. We may need to spray a few more times to keep them at bay, but for now, all is much improved.

I've been running around crazed all week - business meetings, classes with Micah, work to do, trying to find childcare, and meeting with contractors to discuss whether we should put a small addition on the house to give me an office. On Tuesday, Micah's Goppy (my dad) babysat on his own for the very first time while DH and I attended meetings. It was a smashing success, and I'm hopeful that we can utilize Goppy's babysitting services again. At one of our classes this week, we went to a pottery place, and we decorated a tile with Micah's name on it and his footprints. I will post a picture when I get it back next week. I can barely see straight this week! I wish I had our child care situation worked out - I'm still nervous about what we will be doing and how to proceed. I really need to have more time available and get more work done.

I don't have any new pictures to post today. My "little" man is now 12 lbs! He is growing rapidly, and I'm afraid to admit that the arms and legs on his size 0-3 month clothes may be getting a bit short. I think it may be time to move him into the next size, and we are probably just another week or two away from size 2 diapers! I can't believe how much he is growing. We have our final Baby & Me class on Monday. I am probably going to have to stop doing as many classes with him if I put him in daycare or get a nanny - which I suppose I have to do anyway since I need to get more work done during the day. In June, I hope to start swim lessons with him, and I'd like to sign up for a music class with a bunch of the other women from our Baby & Me class. We are planning to continue with a playgroup, so that should be fun.

Next week is another crazy week - Wednesday and Thursday night is the beginning of Passover, an 8 day holiday for us. The first two nights are marked by a special dinner known as a seder, and we will be hosting the 2nd seder at our house. Most of DH's family will be coming to town to join us, and this is only the 2nd holiday we've hosted. We are nervous about all the chaos, but also excited to spend time with the family. This will be the 2nd time Micah has met his grandparents. I'm hoping all goes smoothly and that Micah goes to bed easily even with all the commotion in the house. I think DH & I will be cooking for the next week. He went out tonight to pick up a turkey and some brisket so we can get started this weekend. I'll give an update next week!